Female SRR Soldiers In Iraq Shootout
2 female Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) soldiers have fought their way out of an ambush in Iraq, it has been reported. 
According to the Daily Mail, the 2 women, both officers in the SRR, were travelling in a vehicle on their way to meet up with local agents when they were stopped at an ad hoc ISIS checkpoint. Coming under suspicion from the ISIS personnel manning the vehicle checkpoint, the situation quickly escalated into a full on gun fight. Employing their counter-ambush training, the 2 SRR operatives shot their way out of the checkpoint using sub machine guns and pistols. The pair were able to escape the checkpoint unharmed although their vehicle was badly shot up. They left behind several dead ISIS fighters.
Dealing with vehicle check points (VCP) is a vital part of undercover special forces operative training. During the Northern Ireland Troubles, soldiers with the SRR's forerunner, 14 Intelligence Company, faced the prospect of ad hoc VCPs established by IRA active service units. Using techniques copied from the British Army, the IRA VCPs were put in at random, hoping to snare an undercover soldier or other juicy target. 14 Company operatives were trained in a range of counter-ambush skills including tactical driving and shooting from within vehicles. The training had to be top notch, as they often worked in pairs or alone and they may have be up against multiple heavily-armed opponents.
The SRR are been rumoured to have been active in Iraq and Syria for some time. The regiment have been working alongside other British special forces units such as the Special Air Service (SAS), as well as American and French special forces, in an effort to counter the threat from ISIS. The SRR's primary role is to gather intelligence. This may include using high-tech surveillance gear such as drones but also includes the age-old technique of recruiting agents from the local population. Due to cultural conditions, female SRR operatives are especially suited to interacting with Arab women.
We recommend the following books on women serving with 14 Company. Both give a fascinating insight into life as a female special forces soldier:
- She Who Dared Covert Operations in Northern Ireland with the SAS
- One Up: A Woman in Action with the SAS: A Woman in the SAS
As always, one should be always somewhat sceptical of such stories when they appear in the tabloids. Even if the incident reported here is the product of a tabloid writer's imagination, it should be remembered that British Special Forces operating in Iraq and Syria face such dangers on a regular basis.
More info / further reading
- 1. Two British women soldiers fighting ISIS alongside the SAS in Iraq shoot their way out of jihadi ambush